Why Should Health Checks Only be Available to an Organisational ‘Elite’?

Why Should Health Checks Only be Available to an Organisational ‘Elite - People Development6 Network
Why Should Health Checks Only be Available to an Organisational ‘Elite - People Development6 Network
Dr Nick Summerton

Dr Nick Summerton

GP and Medical Director at Bluecrest Wellness
Dr Nick Summerton is a GP, public health consultant, advisor to NICE and Medical Director at Bluecrest Wellness.

As a nation, we hate the idea that good quality healthcare should only be available to those willing to pay for it – but it doesn’t seem to be a problem when it’s within an organisation when the best healthcare is only provided to senior executives.

There are very good reasons why the UK sticks to the NHS principle despite the costs and inefficiencies of the system. A healthy nation is good for everyone, for the economy, society, and culturally. And there are similar benefits for employers – and more.

First of all, it’s the basis of a public health approach for an organisation. Giving health checks to as many employees as possible means reliable data on the health of people resources and health risks. It’s the basis for more targeted HR interventions around health and wellbeing. By using health checks for everyone you can get a picture of what’s needed in each division or location and tailor the response. Stress might be the issue in head office, but in regional offices, it might be obesity or musculoskeletal problems. It means professional providers like Bluecrest can use its expertise to aggregate the data and have a useful and informed discussion with companies about what to do next.

And from an ROI perspective, this kind of data means the impact of wellbeing interventions can be tracked over time and justified to the board. For employees, it’s a stand-out benefit, and the basis for engagement, staff retention, and recruitment. When workplace health initiatives are introduced, like onsite health checks, it can create a real buzz around a workplace. Staff feel valued and make the connection between their health and it’s importance to the firm.

Making screening accessible for large numbers of employees has been a problem for a number of reasons. New models of screening are making it possible:

– Cost has been the key issue but can be kept low through the economies of scale from the large-scale provision and more efficient use of resources.

– Offering screens on site in workplaces and at easy-to-access locations nationally for mobile staff.

– Providing health checks at convenient times. New tests are less restrictive, not relying on fasting or being carried out at set times of the day – for example, new evidence shows that fasting for cholesterol tests is unnecessary.

– Tailoring the tests provided around individual needs (core testing with some elements adjusted to suit individuals’, age, gender, and background). That includes more thoughtful approaches to ’sensitive’ tests, like offering self-testing for HPV or ‘smear’ test.

– Providing easy-to-understand results that provide a clear sense of future risks and a basis for making lifestyle changes and tracking changes to health.

– Using phone calls for post-test GP reviews.

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